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Regaining Confidence


emmajaneg
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Hello all!


I recently had a motorbike crash (a month ago) and ended up in hospital and 18 stitches in the knee...

Besides the point, I’ve been given a hire bike (18 plate Honda CBF125, it’s a beauty!) as mine has been written off, and I am utterly frigid on it. I’m taking corners at about 30 mph, and I constantly feel like I’m going to slip off.


I know it takes time to get confidence back, but does anyone have any tips at all? I haven’t been on a bike for too long, nearly 7 months and I’ve come off a lot, but not giving up!

Thank you all, lovely peeps <3

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I don't think it's unreasonable [mention]emmajaneg[/mention]. The problem is of course as you probably already know if you feel tense whilst riding the bike will react as such and you'll feel more tense and....


I suggest for now go out at quiet times and stick to roads you know. Don't rush. If it's really bad approach an instructor and pay to go out with them.


Only other tip, lift that chin. It's all too easy to let it drop and stare at the road. Look as far as you can down the road at all times. It always makes a world of difference for me.

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As you are probably aware I had an off yesterday morning so I know how you will be feeling as all who have had a spill will, it will take time to start relaxing again and enjoying the ride but as has been said take your time don't pressure yourself and look around as far as you can see and not at the patch in front of your front wheel as generally a bike will go where you look.


I hope you are well on the way to being fit and well again, I'm now off work due to a gammy finger with its nail missing

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As said, what you are experiencing is perfectly normal and indeed a healthy sign of adapting from experience. There is of course no magic formula, just ride as you feel comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable then just slow down, bit by bit you will learn and grow in confidence, but not being over confident is an important lesson.


I race boats and one of the key things to master is that a good sailor "has their head outside the boat". For natural reasons your head is currently "inside the boat", only practice, practice and more practice gives you the ability to handle the bike without having to think everything through as you do it.


Just go easy on yourself, it isn't a race, you will find your natural comfort zone.

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As said, what you are experiencing is perfectly normal and indeed a healthy sign of adapting from experience. There is of course no magic formula, just ride as you feel comfortable. If you feel uncomfortable then just slow down, bit by bit you will learn and grow in confidence, but not being over confident is an important lesson.


I race boats and one of the key things to master is that a good sailor "has their head outside the boat". For natural reasons your head is currently "inside the boat", only practice, practice and more practice gives you the ability to handle the bike without having to think everything through as you do it.


Just go easy on yourself, it isn't a race, you will find your natural comfort zone.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself

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As above , all good advice. I had a crash two years ago after twenty odd years without incident and although I wouldn't say that it lowered my confidence, I would say that it massively raised my level of hazard perception. So although it was a painful and expensive experience it probably did me a bit of good in the long run .

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I know it takes time to get confidence back, but does anyone have any tips at all? I haven’t been on a bike for too long, nearly 7 months and I’ve come off a lot, but not giving up!

 

Nothing breeds confidence like success. Reading your comment that you've "...come off a lot..." should maybe be what we're focussing on here. Why have you "come off a lot" ?


I love your enthusiasm and the fact that you're not giving up (please don't), but I'd suggest you take it easy, ride within your capability, and take some further training to build up your confidence.

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I don't think it's unreasonable @emmajaneg. The problem is of course as you probably already know if you feel tense whilst riding the bike will react as such and you'll feel more tense and....


I suggest for now go out at quiet times and stick to roads you know. Don't rush. If it's really bad approach an instructor and pay to go out with them.


Only other tip, lift that chin. It's all too easy to let it drop and stare at the road. Look as far as you can down the road at all times. It always makes a world of difference for me.

 

Thank you! I do look down a lot when things get tense, I also grip onto the handlebars too :( thank you for the tips though, I will take them into mind

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I know it takes time to get confidence back, but does anyone have any tips at all? I haven’t been on a bike for too long, nearly 7 months and I’ve come off a lot, but not giving up!

 

Nothing breeds confidence like success. Reading your comment that you've "...come off a lot..." should maybe be what we're focussing on here. Why have you "come off a lot" ?


I love your enthusiasm and the fact that you're not giving up (please don't), but I'd suggest you take it easy, ride within your capability, and take some further training to build up your confidence.

I have come off for silly reasons, the first time my bike stalled and I tipped off of it (it was very windy). The second time I slipped off because my brakes had frozen and my bike was having an issue with back brakes sticking, and it was icy, and 3rd time was because somebody wasn’t looking where they were going. I don’t mean to blame others but because I suffer with anxiety, I am extremely precautious.


I have so much enthusiasm because I truly enjoy riding. Even if it is only on a 125. Thank you for the tips too :)

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The majority of bikers have had the odd spill, myself included. It's a case of getting back on, taking it easy and the confidence will slowly return. Try not to think or dwell on the reason you came off, That's now history and you've learned from it.

:thumb:

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Here's a possible solution to your confidence issues. Wait for the good weather which is just around the corner. Get up early one Sunday morning and set out on a ride that lasts all day . Take regular breaks but try to put in as many hours and as many miles as you can before it gets too dark . The idea is to really get in tune with your bike and the road in one long drawn out session rather than having to take one step forward and two steps back all the time . ( It took me ages to decide which way round to put that last bit but I hope you get what I mean . ) I honestly believe that you will make more progress in one whole day than you will in loads of short trips . Good luck.

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Emma I know with anxiety it will be harder but you just need to put those out of your mind if you can as they are learnt experience and no two rides will be the same no matter how similar they look on the surface, your confidence will improve with every ride you do

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Suggest you find an empty car park on a Sunday,and just spend some time doing all the MOD 1 stuff.


Get confidence on control and that should translate to the road?


Plenty of Youtube videos about confidence- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvsIDn5sLCc

">

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGOEbanJOwY(for the laydeez!) :thumb:

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Do you ride on your own a lot?


As Im sure people in here remember I was pretty terrified my first couple of weeks riding. What helped me though was finding other people to ride out with - be it other 125s or people on bigger bikes but didn't mind just pootling along with me.


You're actually not too far from me (im in Lincoln but It's a quick zip up the A15 and M180 to goole!) if you ever feel like a small ride :)

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Loads of good advice already, just wanted to add one more comment to say that I'm really sorry you've had an off, that alone really sucks.


I think I was 6 months in when I first binned mine and I remember the feeling after really really well.


Like others have said, keep your head up; fixation is still something I find myself occasionally doing and it makes just a huge difference just to look that bit further down the road.


My other little bit of advice, and I hope this isn't too controversial, is when you're finding yourself starting to panic just force your body to relax and 'slump' a bit.

I've had two offs which were with corners, one was panic breaking and locking up the front which sent the bike and me cartwheeling, the other was a lowside on a roundabout where we both just slid a little.

If I'm now entering a corner and start to worry I've gone in too hot (and so feel myself starting to stiffen up) I force myself to relax my whole body and 'slump' into the corner.

Disclaimer: I do not mean go boneless and fall off :shock: ! Just relax yourself to lean your body. Going stiff will cause the bike to want to stand upright too.


Final note, there are bikers that have dropped it and those who are yet to drop it. You're in good company here and you're not alone in how you feel. Most of us have been there at some point and I hope that helps to reassure you in your feelings about biking at the moment. :thumb:

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The majority of bikers have had the odd spill, myself included. It's a case of getting back on, taking it easy and the confidence will slowly return. Try not to think or dwell on the reason you came off, That's now history and you've learned from it.

:thumb:

 

Thank you! Had a few rides out on fast roads, I just have a problem with wind again, it feels like when I first started riding!

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Here's a possible solution to your confidence issues. Wait for the good weather which is just around the corner. Get up early one Sunday morning and set out on a ride that lasts all day . Take regular breaks but try to put in as many hours and as many miles as you can before it gets too dark . The idea is to really get in tune with your bike and the road in one long drawn out session rather than having to take one step forward and two steps back all the time . ( It took me ages to decide which way round to put that last bit but I hope you get what I mean . ) I honestly believe that you will make more progress in one whole day than you will in loads of short trips . Good luck.

That’s a really good idea, thank you! And yeah you are right, the further I am in a journey, the more confident I get. I also get more confident when I see other bikers, so I can see that they’re riding fine, so can I! Thank you for the advice

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Suggest you find an empty car park on a Sunday,and just spend some time doing all the MOD 1 stuff.


Get confidence on control and that should translate to the road?


Plenty of Youtube videos about confidence- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvsIDn5sLCc

">

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGOEbanJOwY(for the laydeez!) :thumb:

Thank you, I will check these out!

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Do you ride on your own a lot?


As Im sure people in here remember I was pretty terrified my first couple of weeks riding. What helped me though was finding other people to ride out with - be it other 125s or people on bigger bikes but didn't mind just pootling along with me.


You're actually not too far from me (im in Lincoln but It's a quick zip up the A15 and M180 to goole!) if you ever feel like a small ride :)

 

I’ve actually never ridden on big roads by myself at all! I always ride out with my boyfriend but I feel he gets impatient with my speeds, and wants to zoom off. I’d love to ride with others but there’s never anyone about that will!

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Do you ride on your own a lot?


As Im sure people in here remember I was pretty terrified my first couple of weeks riding. What helped me though was finding other people to ride out with - be it other 125s or people on bigger bikes but didn't mind just pootling along with me.


You're actually not too far from me (im in Lincoln but It's a quick zip up the A15 and M180 to goole!) if you ever feel like a small ride :)

 

I’ve actually never ridden on big roads by myself at all! I always ride out with my boyfriend but I feel he gets impatient with my speeds, and wants to zoom off. I’d love to ride with others but there’s never anyone about that will!

Oh, and I’d love to ride out! I’m always looking for new people to ride out with. Sorry I got to keen typing before I read the entire message 😂

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Loads of good advice already, just wanted to add one more comment to say that I'm really sorry you've had an off, that alone really sucks.


I think I was 6 months in when I first binned mine and I remember the feeling after really really well.


Like others have said, keep your head up; fixation is still something I find myself occasionally doing and it makes just a huge difference just to look that bit further down the road.


My other little bit of advice, and I hope this isn't too controversial, is when you're finding yourself starting to panic just force your body to relax and 'slump' a bit.

I've had two offs which were with corners, one was panic breaking and locking up the front which sent the bike and me cartwheeling, the other was a lowside on a roundabout where we both just slid a little.

If I'm now entering a corner and start to worry I've gone in too hot (and so feel myself starting to stiffen up) I force myself to relax my whole body and 'slump' into the corner.

Disclaimer: I do not mean go boneless and fall off :shock: ! Just relax yourself to lean your body. Going stiff will cause the bike to want to stand upright too.


Final note, there are bikers that have dropped it and those who are yet to drop it. You're in good company here and you're not alone in how you feel. Most of us have been there at some point and I hope that helps to reassure you in your feelings about biking at the moment. :thumb:

 

Thank you for the advice! I do tend to talk to myself a bit, and I do tell myself to loosen up when i tense up a bit. I always feel like I’m going to slip :(

And I’m sorry, but I can now imagine somebody just slumping off their bike because they don’t wanna take a corner 😂 I’ve been quite miserable with all of this, so thank you for making me laugh!

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Do you ride on your own a lot?


As Im sure people in here remember I was pretty terrified my first couple of weeks riding. What helped me though was finding other people to ride out with - be it other 125s or people on bigger bikes but didn't mind just pootling along with me.


You're actually not too far from me (im in Lincoln but It's a quick zip up the A15 and M180 to goole!) if you ever feel like a small ride :)

 

Iv offered to ride out too so maybe we should all get out on the bikes once I'm fit to ride

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Loads of good advice already, just wanted to add one more comment to say that I'm really sorry you've had an off, that alone really sucks.


I think I was 6 months in when I first binned mine and I remember the feeling after really really well.


Like others have said, keep your head up; fixation is still something I find myself occasionally doing and it makes just a huge difference just to look that bit further down the road.


My other little bit of advice, and I hope this isn't too controversial, is when you're finding yourself starting to panic just force your body to relax and 'slump' a bit.

I've had two offs which were with corners, one was panic breaking and locking up the front which sent the bike and me cartwheeling, the other was a lowside on a roundabout where we both just slid a little.

If I'm now entering a corner and start to worry I've gone in too hot (and so feel myself starting to stiffen up) I force myself to relax my whole body and 'slump' into the corner.

Disclaimer: I do not mean go boneless and fall off :shock: ! Just relax yourself to lean your body. Going stiff will cause the bike to want to stand upright too.


Final note, there are bikers that have dropped it and those who are yet to drop it. You're in good company here and you're not alone in how you feel. Most of us have been there at some point and I hope that helps to reassure you in your feelings about biking at the moment. :thumb:

 

Thank you for the advice! I do tend to talk to myself a bit, and I do tell myself to loosen up when i tense up a bit. I always feel like I’m going to slip :(

And I’m sorry, but I can now imagine somebody just slumping off their bike because they don’t wanna take a corner 😂 I’ve been quite miserable with all of this, so thank you for making me laugh!

 

Its good to tell yourself physically what you are seeing, when I'm riding its like a running commentary as I tell myself everything I see, I do this because you only have so much computing brain power and telling yourself what you see gives your brain more power to deal with situations that you didn't know about or things you see at the last moment, so I'd say its a good thing to do

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Loads of good advice already, just wanted to add one more comment to say that I'm really sorry you've had an off, that alone really sucks.


I think I was 6 months in when I first binned mine and I remember the feeling after really really well.


Like others have said, keep your head up; fixation is still something I find myself occasionally doing and it makes just a huge difference just to look that bit further down the road.


My other little bit of advice, and I hope this isn't too controversial, is when you're finding yourself starting to panic just force your body to relax and 'slump' a bit.

I've had two offs which were with corners, one was panic breaking and locking up the front which sent the bike and me cartwheeling, the other was a lowside on a roundabout where we both just slid a little.

If I'm now entering a corner and start to worry I've gone in too hot (and so feel myself starting to stiffen up) I force myself to relax my whole body and 'slump' into the corner.

Disclaimer: I do not mean go boneless and fall off :shock: ! Just relax yourself to lean your body. Going stiff will cause the bike to want to stand upright too.


Final note, there are bikers that have dropped it and those who are yet to drop it. You're in good company here and you're not alone in how you feel. Most of us have been there at some point and I hope that helps to reassure you in your feelings about biking at the moment. :thumb:

 

Thank you for the advice! I do tend to talk to myself a bit, and I do tell myself to loosen up when i tense up a bit. I always feel like I’m going to slip :(

And I’m sorry, but I can now imagine somebody just slumping off their bike because they don’t wanna take a corner 😂 I’ve been quite miserable with all of this, so thank you for making me laugh!

I know just what you mean about talking to yourself when you ride, I'm looking forward to when you have your confidence back and tell us that you're now singing in your helmet too! :D


I also constantly worry about slipping, especially mid-corner I worry about the tyres just losing their grip / connection to the road. I have to tell myself that I have to trust the bike, I have to trust that she will stay connected to the road and handle the corner.

If nothing else, it's far less damaging (both for rider and bike) to lowside than highside midcorner!


Personally, if I've really over cooked a corner and it's going to go tits up, I would much rather the bike fall on it's low side and we both slide until we stop, rather than snatching the brake / going stiff and the bike 'bucking' and high-siding!

So just relax and put your trust in your bike. Added to this you will eventually get to know your bike so well, it will become second nature to react to how she feels and you'll recognise small quirks that will make you a better rider.


Really glad I've made you smile, I know my wording was daft and I did consider changing it, but I know after my big horrible off, it was the love and the humor of this forum that got me smiling again and started the recovery from it all.

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